The EU is a key market for UK sellers to access a larger customer base. While selling to the EU was once easy, Brexit has created a few challenges for sellers trying to ship products across the border.
The key thing holding sellers back is the logistical complexities of sales on multiple channels in multiple regions.
Brexit has led to new rules and regulations for trade with the EU. Consignments sent to Europe must now pass through stricter customs processes, requiring detailed information on the contents of packages. Sellers may also require EORI and VAT registration in EU countries, further adding to the challenges.
Additional customs checks and processes can lead to longer delivery times, additionally inaccurate or incomplete information has led to many sellers having packages held at customs for extended periods. This means sellers are struggling to keep up with consumer expectations.
In addition to VAT, orders over £135 or €150 may be subject to customs duty, and parcel carriers will often charge customs handling fees. All of this makes sending orders to the EU significantly more expensive, adding to the shipping cost for the customer or eating into the sellers margins.
Customers based in the EU needing to return items will also have to ensure the return package complies with customs regulations. Returns can also result in sellers having to pay customs fees twice. Having a streamlined cross-border returns process, that doesn’t result in extra fees, requires a well thought-out process.
The best way for most sellers to ship products to the EU is by using a fulfilment centre based in an EU country. This way you can send your stock in bulk to the fulfilment centre, and only have to deal with the logistics of cross-border shipping once rather than every order. The Bezos Fulfilment Network is a network of fulfilment centres, including centres in UK, France and Germany, offering on demand inventory management and fulfilment for e-commerce businesses.
Splitting your stock between EU and UK warehouses, with a fulfilment solution like the Bezos Fulfilment Network, provides significant benefits for both EU and UK sellers to the way post Brexit e-commerce sales are handled.
Any carrier or broker handling fees are distributed across all the products in your bulk shipment rather than having to pay a handling fee for each order. This makes the sale of low-value/low-margin items to the EU financially viable.
You only have to deal with customs clearance once for a bulk shipment rather than for each order. And it is easier to handle import VAT, customs duties and rules of origin for a single shipment.
OSS (One Stop Shop) comes into effect from the 1st July 2021, and will allow UK & EU B2C sellers to register for VAT in one EU member, making it easier for sellers to ship to EU countries without needing VAT registrations in each.
Get stock closer to your EU customers and benefit from faster shipping times at lower costs. Plus, avoid the bad customer experience from DDU/DAP shipping, where customers are lumped with additional, often surprise, fees and potential delays to their order.
Most major marketplaces will block sellers from selling between the UK and EU if their goods aren’t first cleared through customs and VAT checks. This makes EU based fulfilment solutions essential for sales to EU customers through marketplaces such as Amazon.
Using EU based fulfilment allows for a better returns solution without the customer having to ship the order back across a border and face customs requirements and other potential difficulties.
The Bezos.ai fulfilment service uses technology to help sellers understand how to split and manage stock between warehouses in multiple countries based on their sales data. This is all handled through one account, and the Bezos team deals with all the hands on management of the fulfilment centers to ensure your orders are delivered hassle free.
Alternatively, contact the team at ITQ to understand how this solution can work with your current e-commerce setup, and book a call with ITQ and Bezos.